Keyless car theft precautions

How to protect your car from theft at home

Over recent years there has been a rise in keyless car systems being hacked and cars being stolen. In many cases thieves using technology to fool keyless entry systems into thinking that the key is nearby, this is known as relay theft.

The good news is that there are steps you can take to stop the signal from your car key being amplified to the thief’s device, which puts your car at risk.  In this article we answer some of the common questions around relay theft and give tips on how to prevent it.

 

What cars are at risk of being ‘hacked’?

Only cars that have a passive keyless entry system are at risk. These allow drivers to open and start their cars without removing the keyless fob from their pocket.

Cars with standard remote fobs are not at risk. If you have to push a button on the fob to gain entry, it’s not a keyless system and your car is not vulnerable to relay theft.

 

How does relay theft work? 

Thieves take advantage of a vulnerability in the keyless technology by finding a car parked close to the owner’s house – where the car key is usually kept.

Car thieves often work in pairs in relay attacks. One criminal will hold an amplification device up against the front wall of a home searching for a signal from the keyless fob. The device then relays the key’s signal to an accomplice, who is holding another device against the car door.

This fools the vehicle’s keyless entry system into thinking that the key is close by (usually these keys have a range of two meters), enabling one of the thieves to gain entry to the car.

 

What can I do to protect my car?

Here are 5 simple ways to protect your car from theft at home.

  1. Ensure that your car is properly locked and consider low-tech security measures, such as a steering wheel lock or locked gates, which can make life harder for thieves and could act as a deterrent for criminals who may move on to try to find an easier target.
  2. Keep your car keys as far away as possible from doors and windows and, if possible, shut inside a drawer when you are at home.
  3. You can also purchase Faraday pouches and containers to keep your keys in, which can help block the signal given off by your keys.
  4. Some keys also have the option of turning off the wireless signal. Consult your vehicle manual or contact the manufacturer to check if your key comes with this feature.
  5. If the worst should happen and your car is stolen, having a tracking device fitted can help your vehicle to be recovered.

If you would like to learn more about protecting your possessions, please contact our team at e sales@absolutesecurity.co.uk or tel 01483 791500.

Protecting your property and possessions in the longer nights

Now the days are getting shorter, the longer nights give burglars a chance to do their work hidden by the cover of darkness.   So to help you protect your property and valuable possessions this Autumn and Winter we have a dozen tips to help you keep things safe and secure.

1. Ensure access to the rear of your property difficult.

Lock side gates with a secure lock (Bluetooth ones are now available), not just a simple bolt. Burglars love a dark, secluded rear access to a property along with an easy escape route. Try and avoid playing to their wishes and make your property difficult to access.

2. If you have gaps in your fence or perimeter, consider filling them

…with everygreen, spiky plants to again make entry and exit difficult,

3. Routinely check your alarm is working properly

…and most importantly don’t forget to turn it on when you leave the house. At night when you go to bed, try and remember to use the ‘part set’ mode. Most alarm systems have one.

4. Consider adding CCTV to your home’s security

– many systems come with night sensors as standard and the cameras act as a powerful visual deterrent to a potential intruder.

5. Check your security lighting…

…is working on a regular basis. It’s often sensible to give the lights a clean or service from time to time as insects and spiders sometimes build their nests in them and cause glitches in their functionality.

6. Make sure all window locks are correctly locked…

…and don’t forget kitchen or bathroom windows as many people do.

7. Where you can try to make the property look as if it’s occupied…

…when you are not there by leaving a light on or a car in the drive. If you are going to be away for a while, invest in timer switches and call on the help of a neighbour or relative to check on the house, draw curtains at night and move any obvious build up of post or packages left at the door.

8. Consider having an electronic gate…

…to control access to your property.

9. Keep expensive valuables out of view from your windows…

…so they don’t attract the interest and tempt an intruder. If you are going to be away for some time, consider locking your valuables in a cupboard or safe preferably within a room protected by an intruder alarm detector.

10. Avoid broadcasting you’ll be away on holiday on social media.

Some intruders look out for messages such as these to alert them to empty properties.

11. Beware of callers at your door asking unusual questions.

Take a note of their description and notify the Police or your Neighbourhood Watch. They could be a burglar on a reconnaissance.

12. Invest in a security system

… (intruder alarm, electronic gate, CCTV etc) that comes with an app so you can ‘check-in’ and view your property’s status whilst you’re away.

 

Put your mind at rest by following these simple precautions and ensure you divert an intruder’s attention elsewhere this winter.

For more advice or help protecting your property or possessions, call The Absolute Security team on 01483 791 500 or email sales@absolutesecurity.co.uk

home outbuildings security

Protecting your home’s outbuildings

We’re often asked by homeowners how best to protect the outbuildings on their land, for example, barns, stables, garden sheds, workshops, home offices and their contents.

 

The wonders of wireless

With wireless technology, intruder alarms, CCTV and access control systems can be extended to cover your outbuildings as well as your main property.  In most cases you will need to have an electrical supply to the outbuilding that requires additional security, however, emerging solar technology is becoming more widely used as a substitute for remote buildings where getting a permanent hard-wired electrical supply is not practical.

With many remote detection systems, a detected event will trigger an alert to an app on your smart phone so you can initiate a prompt response, or view the incident real time via your CCTV.

 

Further security measures

There is also the option of smart Bluetooth padlocks to give added protection on outbuilding doors. Do also invest in good security lighting around your property. Many burglaries take place in the dark and security lighting helps to deter intruders.

And for home offices it is good to consider having a safe for important documents, disks and other vital things you need to work effectively.

 

Summary

Theft from outbuildings hasn’t lessened in recent years and it’s important to give those buildings as much protection as your main property.  The good news is that your main security systems – intruder alarm, CCTV can be extended to cover those buildings. Contact one of our team for a free survey or for more information – tel 01483 791500 or email sales@absolutesecurity.co.uk

home security app

Controlling your home security system from your app

These days it seems there’s an app for everything and that certainly applies to home security systems.  Technology has evolved dramatically in recent years and that means intruder alarms often come with app-based management functionality.

It’s proving very popular with homeowners who want to control and monitor their home security systems whilst they’re away.

NSI standard to ensure quality

There’s also comfort for homeowners that the National Security Inspectorate (NSI) has supported security app technologies for several years now. The NSI is the National Body which inspects firms like Absolute Security, who provide security systems.

NSI’s standard PD6662 now accommodates customers seeking to use remote devices (such as smart phones) to operate intruder alarms.  This means that security systems with app features now come under the NSI’s remit and are legally covered and supported by their members.

How does the app work for my security alarm?

In most cases a Wi-Fi enabled box is the connection between the internet and the security alarm’s control panel.  Once programmed and the necessary security levels installed and tested, the app is ready to be downloaded and installed on your smart phone.  This will then give you full control of the alarm system remotely. You will receive notifications of alarm events and will be able to set, unset and reset alarms. You will also be able to manage users and check event logs!

Interesting facts

The security industry’s extensive end-user research has clearly indicated a gap between what those users want and what security systems currently deliver. Today, security and ‘peace of mind’ are the two main qualities that customers typically seek, but once a system is put in place many people simply do not use their security system.

Despite the average costs of burglary in the UK estimated to be £2,525 in damaged and stolen items, only 33% of people with a security system turn it on and 83% of consumers have difficulty using their intelligent devices.

A security app completely transforms the user experience. It provides an environment where homeowners actively want to interact with their home, and enjoy the new possibilities that are open to them. It brings that desired peace of mind from the acquired knowledge and added control.

Technology is designed to make people’s lives easier, not more complex. Security system apps have been carefully designed by manufacturers to allow customers access to an array of custom features. They can tailor their app experience for their own personal and particular needs, without resorting to complicated programming.

 

If you would like to learn more about how app-based security systems can protect your family, home and possessions, contact the Sales Team on tel 01483 791500

Smart video doorbells

Added home security with smart video doorbells

We have seen a lot of customer interest recently in Video Doorbells. These let you respond remotely to visitors at your front door, using your smartphone, tablet and PC and feature an in-built HD camera. 

Video doorbells give you a clear view from your front door or gate, day and night and are ideal for those who want greater protection and screening from nuisance calls or for those in a property alone by themselves. They bring a reassuring layer of additional security as well as convenience.

Flexible to work on any home and property, typical features of video doorbell systems include:

  • 2-way talk functionality – so you can speak to the person through the system via the built-in speakers and microphone, and without opening the door.
  • Crystal-clear 1080HD video so you have a sharp picture of the person at your door.
  • Instant mobile alerts and two-way talk, you can answer the door from your smartphone, tablet and PC.
  • The system’s capability to record images – so you have a record of a visitor.
  • Wireless technology which means you do not need wiring for the installation –you can have the device/bell on any gate or external door within your home’s WIFI range.
  • Motion detection and alerts – these send out an alert if people are loitering close to your property
  • The system runs off rechargeable batteries.
  • A quick and easy installation.

To learn more and find out our current prices for supplying and installing a video door bell in your home  contact the Sales Team on tel 01483 791500.

October is National Home Security Month

Home security systems’ specialists – Absolute Security – are celebrating the start of National Home Security Month.

With the pressures of day-to-day life, home security is often overlooked which is why National Home Security Month (NHSM) was set up in 2013. It seeks to raise awareness around the importance of home security so people can be safe in the knowledge that their home, family and belongings are protected.

This national campaign takes place every year in October and offers advice, information and support on how to secure your property.

 

Keeping homes secure for over 30 years

The Absolute Security team has over 30years’ experience helping local homeowners protect their properties, families and possessions. Throughout October they will be sharing lots of home security tips and advice on their website, twitter, LinkedIn and facebook pages.

As Home Security experts, the team has a wealth of knowledge to draw on from their specialisms in:

  • Intruder alarms
  • CCTV
  • Automatic gates
  • Safes
  • Access control
  • Fire detection
  • Smartphone control
  • Monitoring – including Police response

 

Committed to the latest best practices

Absolute Security has always been passionate about gaining the highest accreditations with all major security and fire detection professional bodies.  It is an NSI Gold Member and a member of The BSIA (British Security Industry Association), BAFE, FIA (Fire Industry Association) and Constructionline.

 

Free survey

The team are offering homeowners a free home security survey throughout October – for more information contact the Sales Team on t 01483 791500 or email sales@absolutesecurity.co.uk

smash and grab home security

Burglars opting for smash and grab tactics for speedy getaway

Over the past year there have been numerous reports in the press of burglars targeting businesses with smash and grab tactics to steal stock and cash.  Increasingly we’ve heard of homes succumbing to this brutal form of burglary too.  In an effort to make a speedy getaway, burglars are smashing through patio doors or windows to quickly grab valuable possessions, then run away.  It would seem speed (not un-detection) is of key importance for them.

There are a number of things homeowners can do to prevent being targeted in this way.  From our many years’ experience, and having worked closely with the Police and Crime Reduction Officers, here are five practical security precautions to put in place around your home.

 

Five security tips for your home

1   Opt for toughened glass or window film on large windows and patio doors which may be attractive to a burglar as an access point into your home. These make it harder for them to shatter the glass and create a hole/entrance to climb through.

2  Don’t leave valuables visible through your windows. Put them out of view when you’re not at home – preferably in a safe.  You may find that your insurance company require you to have a safe as part of your policy’s criteria.

3  Create layers of security (like an obstacle course) around your home so it’s difficult for a burglar to quickly get in and out. Think about the security of your gate and fencing, prickly/sharp plants in vulnerable access points to your site, security lighting, CCTV, intruder alarm and sensors and safes.

4  Make it look like you’re in when you’re out. Leave a vehicle on the drive, lights on timers and ensure deliveries aren’t left in a highly visible location.  Burglars are getting more sophisticated in their surveillance to plan a raid, so if you see someone acting suspiciously around your property, contact your local Police. In fact our range of Intruder Alarm Systems can now turn on lights, activate your radio or even turn on the television if the alarm is activated.

5  Invest in remote monitoring so if your alarm sensor is activated a speedy response can be initiated. This can be linked up to CCTV too so you have evidence of the intruders.

 

Summary

All burglaries are distressing for the victims involved and smash and grab tactics add a more disturbing element.  It is therefore important to try and avoid your property attracting an intruder’s attention.  The more complex and involved it is to break in to, the more likely you will put a burglar off in targeting your home.

For more home security tips and advice – or to request a free security survey of your property, contact the Absolute Security sales team on 01483 791500 or email sales@absolutesecurity.co.uk